Arthur's signature as it was written on his discharge papers after WWII.

Arthur John Pickering, Jr

Musician, Artist, Dreamer . . .

This is the short story of Arthur John Pickering, Jr. who was born on July 12, 1918 in Trenton, New Jersey and died August 21 ,1962 and is buried in Newtown Cemetery, Bucks County, PA. Arthur had three sisters: Ruth [1916-1985], Elaine [1933-1937] and Anne Louise who lives in Pennsylvania. He was the inheritor of our family crest signet ring whose history has stirred my imagination since I was a very small girl and is the reason that the PICKERING genealogy became my life-long passion.

. . . and he was my father.

Arthur, Jr was the second of four children to Arthur John Pickering, Sr. and Evaline Estell DeMar Pickering. He was born in Trenton, NJ just about a block from Stuyvesant Park on the fringes of some of the most beautiful, old homes in Trenton. But the "fringes" weren't quite so beautiful! His family moved to Bristol, Pennsylvania (Bucks County) where he grew up and went to school. One of his favorite teachers was Miss Hewitt who taught English while she was a student teacher in the Bristol Schools. She was quite a character and was loved by almost everyone who met her. By the time I attended Neshaminy High School in the early '60's, Miss Hewitt was coming to the end of her career. But she was just as admired by faculty and students alike and I always thought it was such a neat coincidence that she taught my father too!

Arthur (his nickname was "Bud") was a very talented young boy and honed his musical and artistic talents throughout his life. He loved to draw as a kid and one of his favorite mediums was pen and ink - perhaps that was because it was the only art material he could get his hands on at the time! He drew lots of bookplates for his older sister Ruth who was an avid reader. Two of those plates exist today along with a small, brightly colored vase of flowers in enamel on a piece of cork that he painted when he was about 12 - just about the time this picture of him was taken

And, as for his musical talent - well, by the time he was my father he had taught himself just about every piece of classical music written. Since his parents wouldn't pay for piano lessons for him, Bud decided to hang around when his sister Ruth had her lessons so he could learn indirectly. He was truly a gifted pianist and composer. I remember him teaching me how to change the key of some difficult music so I could play it easier. I just thought it was magic how he could do that! There's no doubt that he influenced me greatly with his art and music talents

One of the many joys of growing up with Bud as a father was how he loved to draw for us. His never-ending supply of imagination and playful humor came through in his many famous caricature drawings of his three girls. He gave us all nicknames and never tired of drawing funny cartoons of us - or for us. I was the oldest (and skinniest) so my name was "String Bean". When Pam and Susan, my sisters, add their stories in the future they may even divulge their nicknames! Unfortunately, our brother Jeff was born only a year before his father died. But even though Jeff never knew his dad, he inherited his terrific artistic talent - just as all of his daughters and most of his grandchildren have!

The WWII years . . .

Bud entered the army and took his radio courses at Ft. Knox, where these pictures were taken. The picture of his wife, Louise W. Mefford Pickering is the photo he carried inside his battle helmet all throughout the War.

Arthur John Pickering, Jr. Pfc Company B, 32d Armored Engineer Battalion was inducted into the Army 25 Feb 1942 at Ft. George G. Meade, MD.

His home address at the time was: 4322 N 15th St., Philadelphia, PA.

He attended Radio Operators School at Ft. Knox, KY and his military occupational specialty and number was: Radio Operator, High Speed, Manual 766.

He received his Honorable Discharge on 29 August 1945 at 1318 SCU Hospital Center, Camp Pickett, Virginia.

He fought in the battles of Normandy, Rhineland, Northern France Ardennes and (GO 33 & 40 WD 45) and received the European, Afriacn, Middle Eastern Theater Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.

He departed the U.S. to the European Theater on 5 Sep 1943 and arrived 15 Sep 1943.

He received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge Sec 1 Ar 615-361 and 2nd Ind Hq Hosp Center Cp Pickett, VA on 25 Aug 1945. He served 3 years, 6 months and 5 days in the Army.

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Updated 4/2001